My Big Dumb Culture Diary: Part Three

by Steve

This is where love has left me cover from Mississippi RecordsIt’s at this point that I realise this exercise is quite a strange, time-consuming and, dare I say it, exposing one. I’m not organised enough to write down everything as I go about my day, so end up self-editing, to an extent. And then the doubt. Oh, the doubt. Does this exercise make me seem dull and indulgent? Or do I look like a try-hard?Especially as I’m offering a particular, edited view of myself? Ah, who cares, here are days three and four…


Daytime I rattle through the final pages of Brooklyn. I’ve noticed this in a fair few books, but the ending seemed rather rushed, which perhaps dampened my opinion of the book somewhat. The first two-thirds of the book were magnificent though – so considered, well-paced and carefully written. And a great example of how normal, humdrum life is pretty damn dramatic if you’re at the centre of it all.

I also genuinely cared about the characters. There were one or two occasions when I wanted to shout at the page, “No! Don’t do that!”, or take a break so I didn’t get too annoyed at the characters’ choices. I guess that kind of emotional engagement is a good thing!

Afternoon I listen to a download of the Mississippi Records mixtape This is where love has left me. Loads of obscure, great stuff from around the world, from one of the most intriguing (and mysterious) labels out there.

Nighttime After the shambles of the Comedy Festival, my Significant Other and I headed home and settled in for a night in front of the telly. We indulged ourselves in some trashy TV with Celebrity Four Weddings. Four Weddings is essentially a rip-off of Come Dine With Me, but with (you guessed it) weddings. Four contestants go to each others weddings and judge them, that sort of thing.

As we’re in the midst of wedding planning ourselves, this is both relevant viewing (or so we kid ourselves) and light relief. The celebrities were hardly that. Sandra Dickinson and Terry from East 17 were the best known people. Still, great fun for what it is.

Then, Gavin & Stacey. It is such a warmhearted, well-written and beautifully acted programme. And so funny too. This is one of those shows I can put on and everything seems OK in the world.


Lunchtime I begin my next book. With all the hype about the release of his new book, Freedom, I delve into Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Yes, I am about 10 years behind when it comes to literature. It is a cracking read so far.

Afternoon More trendy listening, this time Burial and Kode9’s Radio1 mix. Nice bit of dubstep, to make me feel cool and young.

Evening Listen to an old interview with Richard Ford as part of The Agony Column, discovered via the power of Google. I listen to it on a particularly noisy bus, so miss half of it. The half I do hear is pretty illuminating on Ford’s craft.